A petition at Change.org asks that drug-related charges be dropped against three truck drivers arrested while hauling hemp.
The Change.org petition was created Sunday by Tracy Olson of Boise, Idaho. By Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,900 had signed it electronically. UPDATE: as of Thursday morning, May 9, 2019, the total number of signatures has risen to 4,800.
Olson and the petitioners ask Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts to drop the charges against Andrew D’Addario, Erich Eisenhart, and Denis Palamarchuk, three truck drivers who were arrested and charged for driving industrial hemp across Idaho.
A statement attached to the petition states:
"Hemp has been legalized at the federal level and is legal in nearly every other state. We do not want our tax dollars spent prosecuting or incarcerating these individuals, and we do not feel their future employment prospects should be clouded with a criminal record on account of their work transporting hemp.
“It is cruel to upend these men’s lives in the current manner, and frankly, it is an embarrassment to the state of Idaho. You are the only player in our legal system who has the power to fix the situation and ensure they can go on with their lives without a criminal record from these events.”
The federal farm bill legalized hemp in December. The farm bill defines hemp as having 0.3% THC or less. THC is the principal psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The amount of THC in hemp is too small to give users a high.
Idaho law does not distinguish between marijuana and hemp. Both are illegal.
Denis Palamarchuk, 36, of Portland Ore., was arrested Jan. 24, for driving a truck for third-party trucking company VIP Transporter LLC, Portland, with a load being hauled for Big Sky Scientific, Boise, Idaho. Police seized the more than 6,700 pounds of cargo and the semitrailer hauling it. Palamarchuk is scheduled to go to court Oct. 2.
Andrew D’Addario, 28, of Colorado, and Erich Eisenhart, 26, of Oregon, were arrested on April 12, 2018, for hauling 915 hemp plants from a licensed industrial hemp farm in Colorado to a licensed farm in Oregon. According to the Idaho Statesman, the men pleaded guilty April 9, 2019, to felony possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver for bringing hemp plants across Idaho.
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